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Updates from Massachusetts Board of Registration of PEs and PLSs - From April 2016

Type:  Featured News  

April 28, 2016 PE and PLS (EN) Board of Registration Meeting 

At this meeting, The Board discussed:

  • John Duff, PE, former Board member, addressed the Board, thanking them for their work over the years. Paul Tsang, PE, Mechanical Engineer from Parsons, is a newly-appointed member of the Board.
  • The board reviewd a request by Joseph A. Vela, Applicant No. 100514, to take an oral examination instead of the written NCEES PE examination. The Chairman noted that the Board had received and reviewed a letter from Mr. Vela's attorney, dated April 18, 2016, regarding Mr. Vela's request. The Chair observed that Mr. Vela was present and provided him with ten minutes to speak in support of his request. Mr. Vela read portions from a written statement which he stated he would submit to the Board after his presentation. Mr. Vela provided background information on his application for licensure as a sanitary engineer and noted that the Board had in the past licensed applicants in the discipline of sanitary engineering based on an oral examination. Mr. Vela stated that if the Board's regulations no longer permit licensure based on an oral examination then the Board should require all licensed sanitary engineers to now take the civil or mechanical written NCEES PE Examination. If that does not happen, he believes he is being singled out and discriminated against. Mr. Vela specifically requested that following his statement the Board take a roll call vote on his request. After Mr. Vela's statement, the Board deliberated on his request.· Board Counsel explained that a roll call vote was not necessary because the discussion was in public session, unless any board member wanted to request a roll call vote. No Board member requested a roll call vote.
  • Board regulations require applicants to pass the written NCEES PE Examination. After discussion on the appropriate wording of the motion the Board voted to deny Mr. Vela's request to take an oral examination instead of the written PE examination and to require, in accordance with Board regulations, that Mr. Vela pass the written NCEES PE examination.
  • The Board discussed the upcoming 2016 NCEES annual meeting.
  • Board Counsel Sheila York updated the Board on the status of the Executive Order 562 proposed regulation changes. The Board has received approval from Administration and Finance to move forward to the formal regulation promulgation process.
  • Clinton Dick informed the Board that NCEES would not be accepting new applications for NCEES records between May 22 and June 20, and stated that this would affect possible applicants for licensure in Massachusetts in the coming months.
  • Clinton Dick requested that the Board members try to renew their licenses online in order to test out the new eLicensing system.
  • Peter Hale provided the Board with a thorough account of the recent NCEES Zone meeting. He stated that NCEES may be willing to finance future attempts to raise awareness of the Land Surveying profession in schools, and was looking to licensing boards for any other groups to take the lead.
  • Ron Willey had been elected as the Secretary of the NCEES Zone Committee.
  • Peter Hale also noted that NCEES announced that roughly 25% of FE exam takers do not continue towards licensure as a Professional Engineer. He also reported that in Maryland, 21 exam takers were dismissed for wearing FitBits to the exam, and that those FitBits were confiscated.
  • Dan Caron addressed the Board concerning digital signatures and their integrity when working on projects with other firms. He expressed concern that once his signature had been applied to documents, other firms would want to edit the documents, at which point his signature would become invalid. The Board informed him that his description of the process was accurate, and that if any changes were to be made to drawings that he had stamped and digitally signed, the digital signature would no longer be valid. 
Continuing Education Committee

The next meeting of the Continuing Education Committee is expected to be on April 12, 2016 at 8:30 AM. 




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